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RavenDave's Dozen & Then Some (Revised : 7/2/2021) - Some of the Best Tubes in History are Available Right Now!!! REVISED AGAIN~!!! And again...

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(@mikeknj)
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Joined: 4 years ago
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I just purchased a pair of Tungsram ECC81's.  I am using them in the second row, with Amperex ECC81's in the first row and CBS 12AU7's in the third how.  The Tungsram replaced a pair of 13D9's that I got with my Nighthawk.  I was wondering what configurations other's who bought the Tungsram are using.  The change I made just seems to make the sound a little different.


   
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(@mikeknj)
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Joined: 4 years ago
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Scotty,

My original configuration was done with Jame's help.  We have similar taste in music.  I am also using Raven speakers.  He was running Amperex in run one, Yellows T's in row 2 and CBS's in row 3.  Since I had 13d9's he felt if I bought the Amperex and the CBS I would have around 85% of what he had.  I did not fell I wanted to spend the cost of the Yellow T's. I was going to replace the 13d9's with Brimar cv4024's, but Dave told me to try the Tungsram instead.  So I bought 2 sets of the and the same RCA's you have.  My back up set becomes the 13d9's with the Tungsram and the RCA's. The sound is very hollow graphic and very musical.  Vocals are in the room.

 


   
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(@ravendave)
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Joined: 5 years ago
Posts: 94
Topic starter  

TUNGSRAM ECC81'S are now completely out of stock unfortunately.  I tried to update my list but apparently that isn't possible anymore.

 

Sorry everyone!

DT


   
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(@mikeknj)
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Glad I bought 2 sets when they first came in.


   
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(@ravendave)
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Topic starter  

Attached are some pictures of the newest tubes being added to the Raven Audio Texas tube collection.  I am adding them to my list.  We are constantly running short and completely out of some tubes, and I am always on the lookout for pristine NOS tubes.  So these are some new acquisitions.  I have also started listening them and will soon be listing their virtues in Dave's Dozen & Then Some - earlier on this forum post.










This post was modified 3 years ago 2 times by RavenDave

   
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(@allears4u)
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I've made alot of switches


   
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(@allears4u)
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I've made alot of switches on which tubes sounds best in what position. My most recent idea was to go all 12AU7's through out since the slight hum is ever present with my mismatch between Raven Integrated Nighthawk (Modified) and my beloved Klipsch Lascalas. This is the best yet! RCA clear tops in row one. These cooled down the tube sizzle and actually enhanced the intimacy quality to everything. Had recently switched out my Yamaha CD player s2100 with Audiolab 6000 transport coupled with Nuprime DAC 9SE. This combo was a bit too subdued until the RCA's. They added and enhanced the mid treble and depth of sound stage. Running all NOS chinese power tubes which at first blush were flat but in time they opened up and were quieter than my first set which were getting a bit cranky. Now I guess I need to stay in the low gain lane on those pre amp tubes which works much better with these hyper efficient Lascalas. This sound just gets better and better. Extremely satisfied Raven head!!! 


   
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(@ravendave)
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Glad to hear that using 12AU7 low gain preamp tubes are finally working for you.  Which tube complement are you using now with your RCA clear tops?  GE black box plates, and what else?  I have some authentic Austrian Tungsram ECC82's if you want to experiment.  Also some Amperex Bugle Boys.  From time to time I get some different flavors.  I also have a few Brimar ECC82 as well.  Yes, those 1970 Shuguang military tubes are pretty darn astounding.  If you find any from the 90's or 2000's those are horrible.  That's why they are so cheap.  But people still snap them up because they look very similar to the older '70 ones, so they think they found a deal, but once they are installed, they are all over the place, some are very noisy and it is because of the metallurgy.  They used flat heat resistant paint over the anodes to make them cheaper.  They are OK for guitar amps, but horrible for a really good audio amplifier.  The better the amplifier, they noisier and less accurate they sound.  I have a few quads left.  Also some authentic factory quads of RCA black plates and GE...   which are of course the best ever made.


   
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(@allears4u)
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Joined: 4 years ago
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Amazing sound as usual no matter what I do!! But do to my own mismatch as mentioned above. I finally realized going all 12AU7's or ECC82's the situation could be minimized but I never really put a ton of thought into "the best" low gain valves because it was the first rows where I knew the biggest effect would be had. Putting the noble but a bit blurry RCA Clear Tops upfront make me realize a better idea. This morning I put my clean Tungsram ECC82's (1960's), moved my crisp Hytron's to #2 spot, and demoted the RCA's to third place. Success!! clear, balanced, quieter yet, and so human on vocals with stunning presence. More bass, no better bass, and the overly warm Nuprime DAC 9SE has been set free. Used Mad Scientist nano contact enhancer (very sparingly) on all tube pins, interconnects, speaker, AC in's and outs...Super help...couldn't be happier with Raven Audio!!!!!!!!!!!! Now I need to start really experimenting with the best low gain pre amp tubes. Have never invested in those or thought about them. In my tube 'treasure box' I have the GE Black (Ladder plate stirrup), Raytheon Black Plates, and a wild card RCA pair marked JRC 6189/12AU7WA then it says similar to CV4003. Any advice would be cherished 


   
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(@ravendave)
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I personally LOVE the JRC 6189's but I combine them with Brimar CV4004 to smooth them out, with the GE12AU7's in row 1 when I am running Klipsh.  Yours are 104db, mine are 101db I think, from the 70's.  I use SVS subs

 


   
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(@allears4u)
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Joined: 4 years ago
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I also use the SVS SB2000. (Originally thought it would be too small but perfect for my intimate jazz tastes) Its the only sub that fits in with my Lascalas. After Velodyne, Sunfire, etc I'd almost given up on subs blending with Klipsch. Now that missing element is there seamlessly. On tube placement, this present configuration sounds so "balanced" I dare not breathe. Letting them settle in. Channel separation has been enhanced or maybe the clearer high end makes it more noticeable. The "gain" on each of my three pre amp tubes, if typical, would be what? I realize they change with time but do they each have a average gain level? I'm thinking of continuing my experiment of trying to lessen the gain on the front end to soften the hum as much as possible just to find out if it can be done. I know the quality may be a trade off but if someone like me is OCD about hum, Raven advisors will be able to minimize that issue ASAP and then work back to sound quality as compromises are seen as worth it. (If all that makes any sense)  I'll try those GE 12AU7's up front once I get over the rapture I'm enjoying at present! Thanks for the tips! 


   
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(@ravendave)
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It may not be better than what you have already figured out.  Each room, system, ears etc. are going to be different.  Have you spoken to James lately about the hum?  A while back Nelson Pass, Jam (his tech) and a few others got together and figured out a way to eliminate almost all of the vacuum tube hum.  They came up with a special grounding bridle for systems with especially sensitive horns.  It might be worth a call to him.  I know they have converted several Avian series amps.


   
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(@ravendave)
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The new 3.1 Series Nighthawks, Blackhawks and Ospreys have the system integrated in them now.  Also, you asked about tube gain.  I have attached a preamp tube gain chart that might be helpful.

 


   
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(@allears4u)
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Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 23
 

Thanks alot for your help. My Raven has never sounded better than it does right now. Discovered an iffy speaker post on right HI terminals on Lascalas due to past hurricane trauma. It was slightly depressing the upper frequencies. I speculate that it got so "flexed" as my yurt walls moved back and forth, the speaker connection got damaged but not altogether broken. Moved to LO terminals and left jumpers connected and success! But as noted, that ever present hum still lurks in the background. Mostly it is unobtrusive but dictates type of music I can listen to in early morning and late evenings. Any "open" spaces within tunes reveals the kill joy hum bandit. It has given me a trivial problem to use to justify upgrading EVERYTHING else in hot pursuit of "fixing" a problem! LOL And warn james c that I may call him to ask about retro fitting my Nighthawk/Blackhawk modified with grounding bridle. Super great you guys got that worked out! Any effects on over all music quality? Usually no free lunch  


   
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(@ravendave)
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Topic starter  

No adverse effects at all...  only positive ones.  Gets rid of excess noise/hum.  This usually is only a problem of super efficient horns, and no longer occurs with any newer amplifiers.  James can absolutely take care of it.


   
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